United Nations Unlikely to Impose Sanctions on North Korea Over Submarine Missile Launch

luvsmiling, June 9, 2015, 9:42 a.m.


The U.N. Security Council is unlikely to impose new sanctions or issue any formal statement with regard to North Korea's test-launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine, a diplomatic source said Tuesday. The secretive North announced in early May that it has successfully fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

South Korea sent a letter to the North Korea Sanctions Committee under the U.N. council requesting a probe and punitive action. "North Korea's firing of an SLBM is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But China and Russia maintain a tepid stance," the source told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity. "The U.N. Security Council is a forum where political decisions are made."

Some member states apparently believe that the North's SLBM technology is not at a level of serious concern yet, given its complicated nature, added the source. China, like the U.S., seems to have an assessment that North Korea still has a long way to go to master the SLBM technology and deploy a submarine equipped with the weapon, according to the source.

South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Hwang Joon-kook had talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, in Beijing at the end of last month. Hwang earlier had a trilateral meeting in Seoul with the top nuclear envoys from the U.S., Sung Kim, and Japan, Junichi Ihara.

They shared notes on the analysis of Pyongyang's recent provocations and discussed ways to coax it back to denuclearization talks.  In March, the North test-launched two Scud-type short-range ballistic missiles with impunity. "The U.N. Security Council is instead accumulating records of North Korea's violations of its resolutions for possible future actions," the source said.

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